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My neck pain is really difficult to mange. It can be triggered by my abnormal sitting, stress, tension, anxiety, bad posture, and (surprisingly) a good night sleep (when I’ve laid in the same position for too long). I’ve tried all sorts to get rid of it, but it’s here to stay. As well as attending regular physiotherapy maintenance sessions, I do the following 3 things to help minimise and manage my neck pain as best I can.
My physio started using this a few months ago and even after the first time using it, I noticed a huge difference and that it really helped to reduce my pain. I used to see professional sports players using it and wondered what the heck it was – bright coloured tape strapped somewhere on their body in some sort of fancy pattern. Well, that’s exactly what it is and how I wear it too.
I don’t fully understand the science behind the tape, but when I asked my physio how it works, he said the position of the tape on my back takes some of the strain away from my neck muscles and directs it to my spine. I’ve also had a slightly different pattern before – more like a cross on my back – which keeps the muscles in place to improve my posture.
When I reported back to my physio that I was finding it helpful, he started taping me up every time I saw him. He also suggested that I buy some tape myself and use it as often as possible. My partner came with me to one of my treatment sessions so she could learn what to do to put it on. ?She mastered this straight away. It not only allows me to wear it in between seeing my physio, but it keeps the costs down too – ?6.99 per roll compared to ?40 per treatment session.
The rolls come in all sorts of colours, including the Union Jack and camouflage! I started out getting the pink one (my favourite colour) but now have a mixture of black, beige and orange too, just to mix things up a bit.
There’s loads of different brands available but I always use?Amazon’s Choice by KG Physio – it has 4.5 stars and over 1,200 reviews.
I’ve talked about walking in quite a few of my blog posts. I enjoy it and it’s a simple exercise that has so many health benefits. I get my coccydynia pain (even though I don’t have a coccyx anymore) and lower back pain when I sit down, so for me, moving about is a really good way to help manage this pain. My neck pain, however, can kick in when I sit, lie down or walk, so this is even harder to manage.
Walking doesn’t stop my neck pain, but it helps to reduce it. The fact that I am moving, means my muscles are being stretched (for example, by turning my head when crossing a road or enjoying the scenery around me) and I’m distracted by doing something I enjoy. I also read on the Everyday Health website that “There is a lot of evidence that low-impact aerobics such as swimming, cycling, or walking can help increase blood flow to neck muscles and reduce neck pain.”?
This is a strange one – how can a knee pillow help manage my neck pain? Well it’s all about keeping my body in the correct alignment when I’m in bed. The knee pillow is placed between the knees and it helps keep specific body parts in to the correct position. When this happens, it prevents my muscles from becoming really tight.
I started to understand the whole body approach to pain management when my physio used to work on my thigh to help manage my neck pain. The muscles in my leg were tight, which pulled on my pelvis, which pulled on my spine, which pulled on my neck muscles. It’s amazing really.
When I was doing my research for this blog, I came across the Sleepy Knees website (I am not affiliated with them in anyway) and this really useful blog post about the benefits of using a knee memory foam pillow. It says “Knee pillows that are made from memory foam can be used in easing body aches such as hip, back and knee pains.” So a knee pillow can have lots of health benefits.
Like with the Kinesiology Tape, there’s a huge range of knee pillows available. I picked Amazon’s Choice, which at the time was the Livivo memory foam leg pillow as it had good reviews and was a reasonable price. It does the job, keeps its shape, and the cover washes really well too.
What do you think?
What do you think of the ways I manage my neck pain? Have you tried some of these? What things do you do to help manage your neck pain?
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